It’s the Ecomony

October 27, 2008 at 3:32 pm Leave a comment

Direct patient/procedural care access isn’t the only reason healthcare systems look at vendor management and vendor compliance policies.   It’s about business operations.   Managing complex supply requirements while keeping inventories as skinny as possible means that vendors have to be carefully selected and monitored in any economy.   Layer a struggling economy on top of that, and many healthcare providers will soon face increased demand against falling revenue.    

Here’s what one healthcare system, Health Partners/Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN,  recently sent to its vendors to reinfoce that its policies are about business practices with all vendors, not just procedural care safety.   

As a Level 1 trauma center and primary community resource for the under-served, each year Regions incurs noteworthy un-reimbursed expenses. Last year, approximately 22% of the care we gave was not reimbursed in any way. In addition, we routinely provide care that costs us more to provide than we receive in reimbursement from payers.

As we review our value analysis structure we are finding that new product and technology are entering our organization with little or no scrutiny. We are continuing to solidify our process by making sure that all parties in this process are well informed about our policies.

Going forward our expectations for our vendors include the following:

·         Pre notification to Materials Management Services or designated representative of a sales call, demonstration or education to clinical providers.

·         No new products to be brought into our system without flowing through our value analysis process.

·         Follow through of our sign in and registration policy through Vendormate located at Regions Hospital Materials Management Services offices.

·         All emergent products to be approved by the Medical Head of a service line, Department Director and Director of Materials Management Services.

Our Take:  St. Paul area residents need Regions to continue to deliver quality care.   And Regions’ vendors certainly want the hospital to continue to pay its invoices.   With more than $1 out of $5 unreimbursed, it’s in everyone’s best interest that Regions tightly manage value.   

Vendor programs and policies will continue to encompass more than just immunization records because the very operations of the healthcare system are only as strong as vendors in its foundation.

Entry filed under: vendor compliance, vendor management. Tags: , , , .

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